Mr. Francis Alapatt delivered a passion filled lecture on ‘the science of selling’. In his lecture, he explored the ‘cliches’ associated with ‘selling’ in the businesses and the market environment. Pointing to the brown leather bag by the table, he remarked ‘I like to carry my bag that represents the old sales man bag’. He added ‘the philosophy of selling is undergoing a major transformation in the present times’. Selling according to Mr. Alapatt is no longer the job of persuading the customer, cajoling or coaxing him into buying the product or service. He opined that selling encompasses a whole gamut of requirements in businesses. ‘selling is the culmination of marketing’, he noted that selling in isolation is merely selling, but through the integration and coordination ‘selling’ spawns a new life; a synergetic solution to the monolithic integrated whole-marketing & selling.
He observed later that ‘Marketing brings the horse to water or vice versa. Selling makes it drink’. In a different context, he expressed his apoplectic reaction to the phrase ‘sales people are feet on street’. He added ‘Marketing prepares the ground for sales team; some roads are frictionless, refined and polished to the extent that sales team swishes past their competitors. But, other roads are rugged, for marketing failed to polish the road, and sales team has an uphill task in such a case’.
Mr. Alapatt demonstrated to the class, human behaviours and instincts, by blindfolding 30 volunteers from the class and letting them on an exercise for fifteen minutes. Mr. Alapatt ended with the observation ‘selling skills are not merely persuasive skills but skills that focus on gaining commitment- to a product, a proposal or an idea’.